Hut tours in the Alps
3 suggestions for stunning hut tours
If you have ever come to a hut after a long ascent, you will appreciate the comfort and shelter of a roof. Everyone who has not had this pleasure should immediately catch up on it. Tatonka introduces three of the most pleasant hut tours in the Alps.
In most cases a hut tour extends over a number of days and the hiker walks from one hut to the next and spend the night. Especially in the main season, it’s important to reserve a sleeping space, since a lot of places are highly frequented and offer a limited number of beds. For hygiene reasons, you should furthermore bring your own sleeping bag and slippers. But also a one-day hike to a hut and back has its own special charm and is suitable for inexperienced or timely limited ramblers.
A day trip to the Schärtenalm
This hike through the Berchtesgaden Alps, from Ramsau to the Schärtenalm is a very beautiful one-day tour. The climb up takes about two hours and 45 minutes, the route back approximately three hours. This idyllic hiking trail is well signposted and for the most part it leads through forest. At the beginning of the so-called magic forest path, it is worth making a short detour to the Hintersee, where you can find some lovely bathing places.
From the hut’s deck you can enjoy the stunning view over the mountain range of Reiteralm, down to the Hintersee and over the valley of Ramsau and Berchtesgaden until the Untersberg. In front of this amazing panorama, the homemade cakes or the hearty snacks taste particularly well.
Weekend-tour around the valley of Ellmau
If you are interested in a nice weekend trip, you should have a look at the two-day hike around the valley of Ellmau. Starting point is the center of Großarl, from where the path leads across the Vorderstadluck Farm to the Saukaralm. Have a comfortable lunch break at the highest mountain pasture in the valley of Großarl and enjoy the magnificent view.
Over the Ellmautal mountain path, you eventually reach the overnight accommodations: the Ellmaualm, the Weissalm, the Loosbühelalm or the Fitzmoosalm. It is up to you which of the four huts to choose. At each place you will get delicacies straight from the farm so nothing stands in the way of a proper hut-evening.
The second part of the tour starts on the next morning after a tasty breakfast. Hiking over the Filzmooshöhe with its nicely designed summit cross and the Remsteinkopf one finally arrives at the Bichlalm, from where you can relish the breathtaking prospect over the valley of Großarl. There are two options for the last stage of the tour: either you take the Güterweg to the Lammwirt, or the so-called Himmelsleiter through the Finsterwald.
Three-day traverse over the Watzmanngrat
The traverse over the Watzmanngrat is classified as a long and demanding tour, but it’s worthwhile due to its stunning panorama. On the first day, the about three and a half hour ascent to the Watzmannhaus is pending. This hut offers space for one-day visitors and overnight guests and you can already appreciate the delightful view on the surrounding landscape.
On the following day, you must cross Watzmanngrat down to the Wimbachgrieshütte, which will take about seven and a half hours. This stage can only be made in best weather conditions and if the mountain is free of snow.
Most of the hikers just need two days for the whole route. But if you can raise a third day, you do not have to pass through the whole valley after the exhausting way down and bring the day to a close in the cozy hut. For the third day, we recommend the traverse of the Hirschwiesenkopf to the impressive Königssee, one of the most beautiful lakes in Bavaria.
Varied landscapes on the five-day Lechquellenrunde
The five-day round trip through the Lechquellengebirge offers a unique flora and fauna as well as a memorable panorama and geological particularities, like the grotesque rock formation of the stony sea.
On the first stage you walk from the Bregenzerwald through steep forests and open mountain terrain until the Biberacher Hütte at the Schadonapass. On the next day, you continue from there: uphill and downhill to the Göppinger Hütte.
The third stage is the most exhausting one of the five days and leads around the Johannesköpfe to the Freiburger Hütte and on the fourth day, you walk through exceptional flora and fauna until you reach the Ravensburger Hütte. On this penultimate hop, you will cross the top of the Lechquellenrunde. After a last overnight stay, the final ascent and decent follows, which eventually ends in Zürs.
Naturally, these routes are just recommendations. There are many more variants and options, such as a hut to hut-tour through the Greina plateau. If you are already in planning mode, you can find basic knowledge in our article: planning and preparing hut trekking tours.
Please note: This article has been published in October 2015 and revised in August 2018.